Stories: Instagram VS. Snapchat

Instagram logo next to Snapchat logo

We all know the names Instagram and Snapchat. Most of us even know that they are competing digital companies. However, not all really understand how technology companies compete and how to respond to their products and updates.

I can assume by the vast popularity of Snapchat and Facebook's Instagram that anyone reading this blog knows where this is going. As of August 2, 2016 Instagram launched their new feature called ‘Instagram Stories’ and for many like myself it has an eerily familiar feel to it. It’s almost as if Instagram took Snapchat Stories, threw it on their interface and called it their own. What if I told you that’s exactly what they did and they aren’t ashamed to say it?

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly admitted to copying Snapchat Stories and said, “Snapchat deserves all the credit.” For me, this honestly isn’t a big deal. However, the general consensus is that many don’t like how they blatantly took Snapchat’s idea and implemented it.

First and foremost, let’s acknowledge that the idea that copying another companies “format or idea” is not new.  Let’s take Twitter’s #Hashtag, although it was first used on Twitter it has since been adopted by almost all social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and even Google+. Was there a fuss about all the other companies blatantly taking Twitter’s #Hashtag? No, want to know why? The #Hashtag was understood as one of the easiest ways to see trending topics and for others to join conversations about things taking place all over the world. All digital companies that want to succeed can and should adopt the best way for its consumers to use their product and communicate to others. As you can see, this isn’t a new trend and Instagram wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last, social media giant that uses another company’s great idea.

Is this trend bad for us? Not at all. People can still use whatever app they prefer or they can use both. This friendly competition increases the need for companies to innovate and keep improving their products. The update has only been out for two days and is easier to navigate which benefits Instagram’s older demographic. It also consists of buttons for most of its commands instead of Snapchat's ‘Swiping’ motions. Together, digital companies will realize what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if they "copy" each other.  At the end of the day, if they improve their concepts and make the social media landscape better for everyone, they're #winning.